Wake County now has 1,076 COVID-19 cases as 2 more long-term facilities report outbreaks

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Here are the latest updates about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina.

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10 p.m.
ABC11 spoke to one of the local companies now pivoting to the creation of PPE for health care workers.

7 p.m.
Durham County is now reporting 914 COVID-19 cases, up 17 from Monday.

There has been one more Durham County resident death from the virus, bringing the total number of deaths to 36 county-wide.

Officials identified an additional outbreak at Carver Rehabilitation and Living Center. There are three cases.

6:15 p.m.

The Halifax County Health Department said there are 628 confirmed tests performed on residents, and there are 100 positive cases.

One person has died in the county, and 62 patients have recovered.

Bruce L. Robistow, county health director, said the majority of the positive cases are spread out across Halifax County and that there are no noted "hotspots" regarding the number of positive cases.

5:30 p.m.
A second Lee County resident has died as a result of COVID-19 related complications. The patient was hospitalized at Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford.

"This is heartbreaking news to report," said Heath Cain, LCG Health Department Director. "Please keep this individual and their family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

The health department also announced five new cases of COVID-19. There are now 282 county residents that have tested positive for COVID-19.

4:40 p.m.
Wake County has identified two more outbreaks of COVID-19 at long-term care facilities.

Positive test results affected both residents and staff were reported at Brookdale North Raleigh and Brookdale Wake Forest.

Throughout Wake County, there are 1,076 cases of COVID. That's an increase of 21 since Monday.

There are a total of 25 deaths county-wide.

4:10 p.m.
State prison officials said Tuesday the majority of offenders who had tested positive for COVID-19 are now presumed to have recovered.

Of 642 people testing positive in 11 prison facilities, more than 500 are now recovered and have met NCDHHS and CDC criteria to be released from isolation.

"Staff have worked incredibly hard to contain this virus, to treat offenders who contracted it and to maintain order. I appreciate their hard work and am grateful that so many offenders have recovered," said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons.

427 inmates presumed to be recovered are housed Neuse Correctional Institution in Goldsboro, where 467 have tested positive for the virus. More than 90 percent of those cases were asymptomatic.

All the offenders at Bertie, Caledonia, and Pasquotank correctional institutions who tested positive for COVID-19 are now presumed to be recovered.

Of the 91 offenders who tested positive for COVID-19 at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women, more than 50 are now presumed recovered.

2:30 p.m.
Sampson County reported six new cases, which brings the county to a total of 177 positive cases of COVID-19.

2 p.m.
In a news conference, Gov. Roy Cooper highlighted several North Carolina companies that shifted their production lines to focus on creating personal protective equipment for health care workers and first responders.

"North Carolina has a long history as a leader in manufacturing and innovation, and I'm proud that our homegrown companies are leading the way in making critical supplies for our frontline workers," Cooper said.

Cooper highlighted two companies--Saab Barracuda of Lillington, N.C., annd Apple Rock of Greensboro, N.C.--that are currently producing surgical gowns, one of the hardest pieces of protective equipment for frontline workers to find. Three other companies--ASI Signage of Holly Springs, Gilero of Pittsboro and Bright View Technologies of Durham--are making face shields.

"Thank you to the men and women working at these North Carolina companies and the many others who are finding ways to pitch in, donate equipment or find another way for their workers to help in this fight," Cooper said. "This is exactly what I mean when I say that North Carolina will get through this pandemic by working together."

Cooper also highlighted the state's efforts to increase COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. While he commended the state for reaching its goal of doubling daily testing to 5,000 to 7,000 tests per day, he added that more testing would need to be done before the state could enter phase 2.

Cooper also highlighted several federally funded retail sites where North Carolinians can get tested for free, including several Walgreen's, Walmart and Harris Teeter locations.

Though North Carolina has seen a steady leveling of new cases and percent of positive tests since phase 1 of reopening started Friday, Cooper said the state would not move into phase 2 ahead of May 22.

"We need to look at all of our indicators and benchmarks over a 14-day period," Cooper said. "We're only four days into phase 1, so we have to make sure people continue to stay home as much as possible."

Senate Leader Phil Berger said more transparency was needed from the governor's office.

"Governor Cooper should explain what his administration's overarching strategy is. Is his strategic endgame to prevent much of the population from ever becoming infected? Does he believe that is possible?" Berger said in a release. ""Or is his strategic endgame to manage the virus as it naturally spreads through the population -- to protect the highest-risk groups while seeking herd immunity through the young and healthy first?

"We need a view into the administration's thinking," Berger added, "What goal is driving his policy decisions? What does he think is achievable?"

12:15 p.m.
Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at an Alamance County skilled nursing center. The county's health department said two staffers have tested positive at Peak Resources in Graham.

"We remain dedicated to the well-being and safety of our residents and employees," said Jeff Cochran, administrator at Peak Resources Alamance. "Protecting the health of those we care for and the community we service remains our highest priority. We are making every effort to ensure we stop the spread of the coronavirus within our facility. We are extremely proud of our staff members and their rapid and diligent response in handling a very unique and difficult situation."

Alamance County has 183 cases of COVID-19. There are 85 people in isolation, and 10 people are hospitalized. There was have eight COVID-19 related deaths.

12 p.m.
Cooper will address the state during a news conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday. He's expected to devote most of his time to the topics of testing and manufacturing.

Specifically, he's expected to share new information about North Carolina companies that have shifted production and are now making PPE for the state.

11 a.m.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Humans Services is reporting 27 more deaths in the state since Monday, bringing the total to 577.

In the last 24 hours, 301 more cases have been reported.

Sixty-two percent of the deaths in the state have been linked to congregate care facilities.

Why you might see different numbers of COVID-19 cases depending where you look

The total so far in North Carolina since the start of the pandemic is 15,346.

NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said at a media briefing on Monday that an estimated 9,115 North Carolinians have recovered from the virus.

The estimated median recovery time is 28 days from the date of specimen collection for hospitalized non-fatal COVID-19 cases. Doctors and scientists do not yet know if patients who have recovered are protected with natural immunity from getting COVID-19 again.

HOW ARE WE DOING?

As the state looks to go through the phases of reopening, officials are looking to meet certain benchmarks.
Here's how we're doing on some of those:
Decrease in confirmed cases? Last week was up slightly but daily case count is much lower this week. 301 new cases added. 25 percent decrease since last Tuesday.
Decrease in percent of positive tests? 9 percent of the tests reported Friday were positive. That was the highest percent since April 30. That percentage fell back down to around 7 percent over the weekend.
Hospitalizations decreasing? We are level. The number increased by 22 Monday and 11 on Tuesday but Dr. Cohen has said we have been level on this metric.
Testing capacity? The state met its goal in the last 24 hours with 6,379 tests.
Contract tracers? Have not met this goal. The state still only has 250 and is working to double this workforce to 500.
PPE Supplies? The state does not have enough gowns to handle 30 days, however, the state now reports it does have enough N-95 masks.

9:45 a.m.
Campbell University will give all students living on campus next semester private rooms.

The school said the move is part of its plan to keep students safe from COVID-19.

"As we prepare to re-open campus this fall and welcome new and returning students, their health and safety is of the utmost importance," Dennis Bazemore, vice president for student life, said in a statement. "We believe providing private rooms for all residential students is one of the major steps to achieve that goal.

The university previously charged $800 to students who wanted private rooms. That fee will be waived in this instance.

7:45 a.m.
Burlington-based LabCorp's COVID-19 at-home test kit is now available throughout the country.

The test-kit is for people showing symptoms or who feel they might have been exposed to the virus. The test was initially just made available for healthcare workers and first responders. Tests can be obtained with no upfront out-of-pocket costs if users qualify after completing an online health screening questionnaire.

The kit, which allows the user to take a nasal swab sample for testing back at a lab, is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. The lab can then test the sample for COVID-19.

TUESDAY MORNING STORYLINES

Another ReOpen NC protest is scheduled to begin around 11 a.m. Tuesday in Raleigh. The group believes the state's effort to reopen hasn't been urgent enough, gathering for weekly rallies and marches in the Capital City in recent weeks. They're hoping to get the attention of lawmakers with the state freshly in Phase 1 of its reopening plan.

Over the weekend, protests in Raleigh drew attention as armed citizens walked downtown streets, and were seen bringing artillery inside a local Subway restaurant.



Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said state law prohibits people from carrying weapons during an organized protest but nothing stops them from carrying a gun on a city sidewalk. Raleigh police officers are now considering criminal charges, according to our newsgathering partners at The News & Observer.

More retailers--including bars and restaurants--will be able to reopen in phase 2 of North Carolina's plan, which could begin as early as May 22. ReOpen NC activists have protested at least once every week since April 21.

A counter-protest will be held as a Raleigh man, Todd Stiefel, is organizing a plane to fly above Raleigh with a banner that reads "fewer graves if we open in waves. #Sciencesaves"

Gov. Cooper will hold another media briefing Tuesday at 2 p.m. Cooper enacted Phase 1 of the state's reopening last week. ABC11 will air the briefing on-air and online.

The state believes more than 9,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus. North Carolina now has at least 15,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 550 deaths. Sixty-nine percent of the deaths are linked to congregate care facilities.

MONDAY
10 p.m.
Robeson County health officials sat down with ABC11 to discuss the rise of COVID-19 cases among young children.

Since the end of April, the Robeson County Health Department confirmed 7 cases of COVID-19 for patients under the age of 17.

However, in the last seven days, Health Director William Smith said that number has grown by four with cases in a 2-month-old, 4-month-old, 4-year old and a 5-year old.

Smith told ABC11 all of the children have contracted the virus through family members living in the same household.

"So, you can't blame it on the plan or anything else. It's just, the entire household, including relatives who are coming over who live close by," Smith said.

Officials expect all of the children to make a full recovery and expects the number of cases in children to grow with the opening of a drive-thru testing center Wednesday.

6:15 p.m.
Durham County is reporting 11 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 897.

There has been one more death, for a total of 35 within the county. The resident was over 65 with multiple underlying health conditions.

6:10 p.m.
Two Cumberland County residents died from coronavirus complications, bringing the total county COVID-19 deaths to 11. 23 more cases have been reported, bringing the case count to 391.

In Robeson County, 45 more cases have been reported, bringing the case total to 415. There were new 2 COVID-19 deaths, bringing the county death total to 8.
5:30 p.m.
Sampson County said 31 more COVID-19 cases have been reported, bringing the total to 171 total cases. Officials said this is the largest increase to date.

4:50 p.m.

Lee County is reporting 35 new coronavirus cases since Friday for a total of 276. Of those 276, 189 are being monitored and 87 have resumed normal activities. There has been one reported death in the county.

3:40 p.m.
An inmate at the Cumberland County jail has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the sheriff. The inmate reported feeling unwell May 6 and was put into isolation.

The inmate was tested and those results came back today positive. The person is being quarantined and treated on site within the jail

2:30 p.m.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said at a media briefing that an estimated 9,115 North Carolinians have recovered from COVID-19.

In order to reach that number, Cohen said officials estimated a median time for recoveries--14 days for a person who was not hospitalized for COVID-19 to recover and 28 days for a person who was hospitalized.

"This is an estimate," Cohen stressed. "A patient's recovery time could be longer or shorter."

Cohen said officials based their estimation on guidance from the World Health Organization and in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We do hope to continue to learn more about this virus as we work with our research community, as we work with other states and countries," Cohen said.

Cohen also stressed that wearing face coverings, washing hands and maintaining proper social distancing are still critical during the Phase 1 reopening of the state, which began Friday afternoon.

"We've done a great job at keeping the virus low in North Carolina, but we want to continue to be vigilant to protect our friends and neighbors," Cohen said. "I saw a lot of people out, but not a lot of people wearing a face covering, and that was concerning."

Cohen said the reason for wearing face coverings in public is because the virus can spread when people don't have symptoms.

"It's possible for you to have COVID-19 and not know it, and therefore you could be spreading the virus and not know it," Cohen said.

However, she added that wearing a face covering is not a substitute for washing hands and keeping six feet of distance between other people.

"We need to do all three together to allow us to slow the spread of the virus," Cohen said.

For example, when gathering for worship services, Cohen said health officials urge faith leaders to have their congregations gather outdoors if possible.

"We don't want to interrupt anyone's ability to let folks worship," Cohen said.

However, if it is impossible for a congregation to hold outdoor services, Cohen suggested keeping services to under 10 people, streaming services online, putting attendees in multiple rooms and staggering attendee seating.

2:30 p.m.

11 a.m.
281 more cases have been reported in North Carolina since Sunday, according to the latest numbers put out by the health department, bringing the total to 15,045 since the start of the pandemic.

3 more deaths were reported.

For the entire weekend, 23 deaths were reported. 69 percent of the deaths were linked to congregate care facilities.

The state did not reach hit its goal of 5,000-10,000 tests. According to NCDHHS, 3,730 tests were completed in the last 24 hours.

Hospitalizations were up by 22.

HOW ARE WE DOING?

As the state looks to go through the phases of reopening, officials are looking to meet certain benchmarks.
Here's how we're doing on some of those:
Decrease in confirmed cases? Last week was up slightly but Monday's numbers are lower than they have been in the last week.
Decrease in percent of positive tests? 9 percent of the tests reported Friday were positive. That was the highest percent since April 30. That percentage fell back down to around 7 percent over the weekend.
Hospitalizations decreasing? We are level. The number increased by 22 Monday but Dr. Cohen has said this is level.
Testing capacity? The state did not meet its goal in the last 24 hours.
Contract tracers? Have not met this goal. The state still only has 250 and is working to double this workforce to 500.
PPE Supplies? The state does not have enough gowns to handle 30 days, however, the state now reports it does have enough N-95 masks.
10 a.m.
The North Carolina Division of Employment Security has now had 1,112,790 unemployment claims filed since March 15.

More than $1 billion in unemployment funds have been paid out. There were 5,822 claims filed on Sunday, relatively low compared to many of the one-day total claims since mid-March. The more-than-1-million claims have been filed by 853,407 people.

MONDAY MORNING STORYLINES

Monday starts the first full week of Phase 1 of reopening North Carolina. As of Sunday morning, more than 14,764 people in North Carolina have contracted the virus with 547 deaths.

New coronavirus clusters around the world show risks of 2nd wave

Durham County's manager is expected to release the recommended budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Monday with the numbers undoubtedly impacted from the pandemic. Durham County reported on Sunday an additional 10 positive cases of COVID-19, raising the county total to 886.

Holly Springs is expected to reopen town facilities, such as town hall, fire department and law enforcement center to residents Monday with safeguards in place.

45 states have eased restrictions. In 15 of those states, the number of new cases is still on the rise.

The White House is implementing new safety measures such as social distancing during meetings and testing anyone who sees the president. Two members of the White House staff, including the president's personal valet and vice president's press secretary, tested positive for COVID-19.

A Tyson Foods poultry plant in North Carolina is closing temporarily for deep cleaning after a coronavirus outbreak there. News outlets report that one of two Tyson plants in Wilkesboro closed Saturday and will reopen on Tuesday.

Tyson employs about 3,000 people at its two Wilkesboro plants. A spokesman for the plant wouldn't say how many employees had contracted COVID-19. But officials in Wilkes County said Friday that an outbreak at the plant is responsible for a majority of the county's 194 coronavirus cases.
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